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Tony Stewart loves NASCAR's new aero package, hates restarts

The praise was mostly gushing with drivers reacting positively to the aerodynamic rules package raced for the first time Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. This one counted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and punched Logano's ticket into the Chase.

Chase Elliott started first on a restart on Lap 151 (barely beating Logano out of the pits), but he missed a gear, forcing him to drop several places. It was the 50th victory for Team Penske since switching to Ford equipment after the 2012 season. Logano is 26, Elliott 20 and Larson 23.

The three-time champion plans to retire at the end of the season.

Logano's teammate, Brad Keselowski, said he wasn't sure the aero package was "everything we wanted it to be". "You can't do dumb stuff and win these races. No doubt, they are out of control insane, and it makes it a lot of fun, but you've got to think if you're in that pack a little bit", he explained. "It was flawless execution". "We got that All-Star win but it's nice to get that (points-race) win and lock ourselves into the Chase". Yellow flags became frequent before a restart with 30-plus laps left. Logano sped away when the racing went green again and coasted to the win, seemingly taking advantage of the new aero package.

Elliott had a shot to win Sunday at MI before settling for a career-best runner-up finish. And it's not bad news for Harvick, who will have to come from 29th after two of his hot laps in the opening round of knockout qualifying on Friday were interrupted by cautions.

"You can't do dumb stuff and win these races", Elliott said. "Had another fantastic opportunity today, and I feel like definitely messed that one up for my guys". Carl Edwards called the package a "work in progress".

The seventh-place result for Stewart was his second-best this season.

Last year, as the sanctioning body solidified the rules for 2016, races at Kentucky and Darlington were used as benchmarks for the progression toward lower downforce for the Cup cars.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished 39th out of 40, is the only victor from 2015 that is winless this year. Logano, the 10th driver to win a Cup race this season, jumped three spots to fifth.

Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet failed the laser inspection station (LIS) after the race. If penalties are warranted, they will be announced in the coming week. Kyle Busch is the defending race victor.

Lead Changes: 14 among 8 drivers. He led 139 of 200 laps.

The restarts were the only issue Elliott had in the race once he grabbed the lead. Also involved was A.J. Allmendinger.



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